My favorite public Invisible Woman of the cinema has trouble:
When I very first started blogging 2 years ago, I was stunned to find out that people would repost, or take an idea of mine, and write it as their own, with not even a smidgen of acknowledgment to me. And some of the sites were very big and well read. I didnât know whether to be flattered that people were taking notice and imitating, or be pissed off. What can you do anyway, as the internet is not like the bookworld, with copyrights and things?
My somewhat reliable instincts inform me that whatever I write here will not really bring relief. So Iâll expectorate anywayâwhich is exactly the irony Iâm looking forâŠ My situation as a Blog writer is quite different. This is what I mean from 2005:
You see, reader, the professional public persona appeals to the voyeuristic sickness of its targeted audience. The goal is to trick the readers into thinking that they discovered a voice of unbiased innocence or to convince the reader that they have gained privileged access to an expert specialist. The reader is then seduced into thinking that they are condescending to a questioning inferior or ascending to the expertise of a specialist, exploiting the discovery for their own needs.
My decision to âsabotageâ my chances at becoming a âprofessional public personaâ here in the Blog-o-sphere, is a systematic, cathartic (arguably self-indulgent) move that avoids the wonderful âproblemâ that our Invisible Woman has. But for my mental health I must admit that many of the subjects broached in this Blog space are not even permissible to talk about in my so-called âpersonal life.â It is not because these subjects are profane. It is because they are not.
There are hundreds of items saved here that have nowhere else to goâthis is either a revelation of my ultimate uselessness or a strong statement of the kind of society in which I âlive.â The great thing about information technology is that we have tools to measure how others out there are faring in the âreal worldââothers who may have a voice similar to mine. These measurements add to my swagger that ambles toward continuing what I am doingâin spite of the lack of feedback and âpopularity.â Assuming that my archiving techniques work, my childrenâat leastâcan look at my work and have a deep understanding of the kind of bleak, empty, bankrupt world I lived in. They might even be wealthy enough to weep for meânot because Iâm their father but for the poverty of the worldâŠ
When an attempt is made to become a âproâ Blogger self-censorship can become an ironic form of madnessâironic because these âcleanâ dudes are wont to call me crazy. Once the public statements become somewhat sanitized, then they are quite easy to copy. Once an interview of a relatively famous person asks relatively tame questions (by my âwackyâ standards) then this interview can be copied. My âartisticâ intent and my natural-born personality prevent these kinds of copies from being made. I am certain that the Invisible Woman is more than capable to stop this kind of copying.
Leo Laporte is my poster boy of a âmainstreamâ podcaster and Blog publisher. Yet he has been quite candid and very open at times. He has been so personal that some of his content cannot be copied without the effort of editing. It is important to me mention this guy as a partial role model for folks like the Invisible Woman and others in the Black-somewhat online world. In my opinion, when Blacks in public and private decide to âclean upâ their âactâ for a larger audience of potential fun and profit, my peoples tend to overdo it.
And, of course, part of their over-zealous âcleaningâ is to steer clear of accused dysfunctional âangryâ Blacks like me. I actually want âmyâ ideas to be copiedâbut you have to work hard to find the value and make the copy. So far, most peeps take it easy and move onâŠ this is why I am still very, very impressed with the folks over there at liberatormagazine.com that sample me (with full credit) from time to time.
And a note about popularity: just look at the depth and length of the feedback given to me by the anonymous Ann in âThe Jewel Woods âBlack Male Privilegeâ Checklist.â I would be a guilty, obsessive-compulsive wreck with just two people responding to my work with such detail. I would not be able to respond in kind to this level of attentionâso it is strangely a kind of relief to been watched from the distance most people maintain from me in the online world. When I was a kid, I saw Richard Dreyfus on TeeVee explaining just how horrible being famous can be. He seemed so sincere and earnest that I took to heart every word he said.
My Black history lessons show me two things:
- One, being famous can get you killed by petty jealous white supremacists who are ashamed to compare themselves to Black people in front of their women and children. This death is often literal.
- Two, fame is a byproduct of imperial captivity (imperial âcivilizationâ). It is a deep, deep error for a so-called âAfrocentricâ person to take fame seriously as a universal, eternal absolute when it should be treated like a 5000-year-old fad. In the Old Kingdom, ideas were the celebrities. Ideas, anthropomorphized in stoneâŠ
Note: Photo of Richard Dreyfus by Alan Light.